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What is a general divorce timeline?

On Behalf of | Nov 15, 2022 | Divorce |

Ever since you decided that you wanted to get divorced, all you have been able to think about is how quickly it can happen. You want to put this behind you and get through the process so that you can move on with your life.

However, you may have never done this before. It may only take a day to get married, but how long is it going to take before you can finally get out of your marriage?

Starting with the petition

The first step to take is to file a divorce petition. As long as you’ve lived in the state long enough to meet the residency requirements, you can do this very quickly. You then have to serve these papers to your spouse.

Waiting for a response

One thing to note is that your spouse will usually have deadlines that they have to meet once you take a certain action. For example, once you serve them the papers, they have 30 days under Illinois law to respond. Some people respond immediately, some will wait for at least a portion of that time and still others may wait the whole 30 days or not respond at all. This can have a drastic impact on how fast things go.

Will the case go to court?

The next thing to ask yourself is whether or not you believe your divorce case is going to need to be decided by the court. For instance, maybe the two of you can’t come to any sort of child custody agreement on your own and you need a court order. In that case, it may take as long as 18 months.

However, not all divorce cases go to court. For those that do not, when couples are able to come to agreements on their own and simply have the court sign off on them, then it may only take 12 months. As a general rule, this span of 12 to 18 months is considered average for a divorce case, although it is possible for it to take longer in very complex situations.

Getting started

You now have a rough idea of what the timeline should look like. If it’s time to get your divorce started, you should look into the legal steps you’ll need to take.